The virtual cold war between the U.S. government and Chinese tech superpower, Huawei Technologies, continues after Washington alleges that smartphone manufacturer has been using code names to carry out clandestine operations in Syria, Sudan, and Iran, that violates U.S. sanctions.
The claims were made by the Trump Administration after an extradition case related to sanctions violations against the company’s chief financial officer. According to the United States, the Chinese telecom giant operated in the countries mentioned above under the guise of DirectPoint in Sudan and Canicula in Syria.
Aside from hiding its identity through a different company name in the said countries, internal spreadsheets presented in the Canadian court reveals that Huawei is also using code names for their operations in each country.
For example, used the code “A5” to refer to Sudan and “A7” to Syria, according to the court documents to support U.S. requests for extradition of the company’s Chief Financial Officer, Meng Wanzhou, the daughter of Huawei’s Chief Executive, Ren Zhengfai.
The allegations mentioned that Huawei has been operating sub-units in other countries to obtain American goods, technologies, and services which violated U.S. sanctions.
Trump’s government is requesting the Canadian court to extradite Meng Wanzhou to the United States saying that the CFO, together with her conspirators within the company, has tricked banks into conducting more than $100 million worth of transactions. This, according to the U.S., has violated many sanctions.
Ever since the arrest of Meng, the company has denied any of the allegations and said that they did commit any violation of U.S. sanctions. Meng earlier requested a publication ban to contain the spreading of further information. Meanwhile, the Chinese embassy in Canada says that they are against the arrest of Huawei’s CFO and demanded her release as soon as possible, calling her arrest as a violation of human rights.
The United States has been intently investigating Huawei since 2016, claiming that aside from violating U.S. sanctions, the company can be used by the Chinese government in its anti-West operations. Donald Trump accused Huawei of being China’s trojan horse to carry out their undemocratic espionage and economic sabotage operations.
More specifically, Washington alleges that Huawei’s 5G technology will be used by the Chinese government to infiltrate systems of other countries, warning their allies of the risks that Huawei poses to them.
Earlier this year, Huawei launched a global smear campaign to prevent its allies from contracting Huawei to help them build their own 5G infrastructure. The U.S. government even threatened European countries that American intelligence would be denied to countries that run their 5G infrastructure through Huawei, citing that they could not risk the information gathered by the FBI and the CIA to be compromised.
The United States further pressed on Huawei by including the company in the country’s “entity list,” which prohibited the Chinese company from making business with American suppliers. As a result of many of its partners including Google’s Android and chip manufacturer ARM temporarily issued a ban against Huawei.
The executive order prohibiting Huawei from buying American goods and products have since been lifted after Donald Trump, and China’s Xi Jinping talked about a trade deal between the two economic superpowers in the G-20 meeting held in Tokyo, Japan in June this year.
Amidst the temporary reprise from an apparent ban to conduct business with U.S. companies, the future of Huawei’s tech ventures are on the limbo as it also relies on U.S. technologies for production, and another ban could be looming in the corner.
Meanwhile, the Canadian court released Thursday several court documents regarding the extradition case filed by the United States and the defense of Meng saying that Canadian authorities did not properly disclose to her the nature of her detention in an effort to extract information from her to help the investigation of U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The now publicized court documents detailed the case of U.S. against Huawei’s CFO including the witnesses that the government against Meng once they can file a case against her after being extradited. Washington plans to call unnamed executives from HSBC Holdings Plc, Standard Chartered Plc, BNP Paribas SA and Citigroup Inc. that allegedly were misled by Meng and her cohorts into continuing businesses with Huawei amidst the risk of violating sanctions as witnesses.